The city of Lanka was perched upon a triple-peaked mountain, fortified by high walls and surrounded by a deep moat. Armed guards patrolled the city night and day and stopped any strangers
that happened by. Hanuman, being a monkey, could enter the city unchallenged.
Hanuman found Lanka to be an astonishingly beautiful city. There were lush gardens, tinkling fountains, impressive monuments with towers that reached towards the sky, crystal palaces with gem-encrusted doorways. Everywhere there was wealth and prosperity.
Finally, Hanuman happened upon Sita
in the Ashoka grove. There she sat, a forlorn figure, surrounded by demonesses.
Hanuman managed to creep up to her unnoticed. He told Sita that he was
a messenger from Ram and gave her the signet ring that Ram had entrusted
to him. He told her how her husband pined for her and reassured her that
Ram would bring reinforcements and rescue her from captivity. Sita was
overjoyed to see a friendly face after such a long time. She pulled a jewelled
ornament from her hair and told Hanuman to give it to Ram so that he would
know that she was alive and well.
Hanuman realized that he must return
to Ram in haste so they could make preparations to rescue Sita and vanquish
Ravan without delay. But being a monkey, Hanuman had mischief in his blood.
He could not leave Lanka without first creating some kind of a disturbance.
He took a deep breath and as the air entered his body, he grew to an enormous
size. He then set about wreaking havoc in the city of Lanka. He uprooted
trees and shook the grand mansions to their foundations. He left a trail
of destruction in his wake. The news soon reached Ravan that a monkey was
causing chaos in the city. Ravan ordered that the monkey be captured and
brought to him. Scores of soldiers rushed to do their king's bidding. Hanuman
put up a spirited fight, but ultimately he was subdued and brought before
Ravan was enraged by the temerity
of the monkey that dared to disturb the peace of Lanka. Knowing that his
tail is a monkey's pride, he ordered that Hanuman's tail be dipped in oil
and set on fire. Hanuman allowed the guards to have their fun for some
time. He then took a deep breath, breaking out of his bonds as if they
were toothpicks. Seeing another opportunity to wreak havoc, Hanuman darted
about the city setting fire to everything that cane across his path. Satisfied
that he had caused enough of a commotion, Hanuman took a deep breath and
disappeared into the sky with a thunderous roar.